Maine Compost School Certification Program

June 24, 2024

Earlier this month, our Member Services Manager, Brian Patnoe, had the privilege of attending the Maine Compost School to earn his Compost Site Operator Certification. 

This weeklong class, which included 16 people from a total of 7 states, covered all aspects of composting including animal composting, leaf and yard waste composting, and food scrap composting.

Over the course of a week, Brian received valuable class time, as well as hands-on activities such as building a compost recipe and several site visits.  These site visits included an animal mortality facility, a working farm, a compost company, and a visit to the Farmington Compost Cooperative.

A special note: the animal mortality facility, called Compassionate Composting, specializes in the respectful and dignified pick-up, handling, transport, and composting of horses and other large animals after their death. 


(Left) A thermometer measures the internal temperature of a compost pile to make sure it remains active (Right) Compassionate animal composting of horses.


(Left)  Compassionate animal composting (Right) Checking a compost pile that had processed a cow. 


(Left) Group activity at the Maine Compost School - building the perfect compost recipe (Right) Windrows at Rainbow Valley Farm.


By attending this class, Brian will be able to provide more knowledge to the ever-evolving solid waste industry and help Member towns with another opportunity to divert items out of the trash stream and help towns create a valuable resource.


At the Maine Compost School - students practice their compost recipe and skills to fix a compost pile. 

A pair of beautiful compost piles at the Farmington Compost Cooperative where food scraps from the University of Maine campus are composted. Bonus: the finished compost is put up for sale and the program has no tax impact!